Shakespeare’s New Place,

As is fitting for a site commemorating one of the greatest storytellers of all time, we drew inspiration from theatrical techniques.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Joint Artistic Director and Co-Designer
Timothy O’Brien RDI
Joint Artistic Director and Co-Designer
Chris Wise RDI
James Newton
Project Team
Mark Major

Shakespeare’s New Place is a commemorative garden in Stratford-Upon-Avon, built on the site of the house he lived in from 1597 until his death in 1616.

We were invited by garden designers Timothy O’Brien and Chris Wise to create an atmospheric nighttime experience within their contemporary landscape. Our scheme makes use of the subtle interplay of light and shadow, offering a new perspective on the garden and its series of commissioned artworks, while extending its usability.”

Collaborating directly with their creators, we emphasised the sculptural quality of each artefact by means of dramatic contrast with the surrounding ‘stage’ - the hard landscape. This theatrical approach creates a strong sense of duality between the day and nighttime character of the garden - referencing the blurred distinction between dreams and reality that has often been a theme in Shakespeare’s plays.

In illuminating the soft landscape we aimed to evoke a special sense of enclosure, as well as a visual reminder of the creative informal garden setting. The scheme is predominantly realised at low level, with the exception of selected directional lighting details.